Every once in a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. There are many reasons she may do this. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind.
These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken.
These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone. So, do you know what the shepherd does?
He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer can hear his heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock.
But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the bummer sheep. He knows his voice intimately.
It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it.
It’s not that it is loved more, it just believes it because it has experienced that love one on one.
So many of us are bummer lambs, rejected and broken. Go to almost any church in your area and you can find scores of these lambs. People show up, shake hands at the appointed time and then leave after an hour or so of religious lectures, entertaining music and announcements – having been alone in a crowd. The pastor will greet a few with a brief head nod and a smile and then after doing this ‘pastoral public relations duty’ he goes to hang out with his favorite “sheep” away from the flock. The other lambs, inwardly, hang their head and think, “Oh, well. Maybe someday”.
Why should any child of God have to settle for this?
“Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe, shepherds who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?
“You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.
“Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.
“They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered.
“My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”’”
“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;
“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So th shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’”
I know that Jesus is the good Shepherd and that He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heartbeat. I know that the broken are deeply loved by the True Shepherd, but, until that day when we are with Him, those who take on the name of “pastor” have a covenant duty, to care for His Sheep!
May God Bless and strengthen you faithful shepherds who watch over, care for, love and feed His Flock, day after day – caring for even the most needy and least lovely.
Your Brother and Friend,